Monthly Archives: April 2014

GF update


remember when I posted last week and I said I was experimenting with a gluten free diet?!?

Well, I have survived 7 whole days with almost no gluten.  I think the only time I had some sneaky gluten was the other night when my husband made burgers. He added some breadcrumbs to the meat mixture before he remembered my experiment. I didn’t freak out. This is a huge change for my little family and while I tried to be prepare us, it is a change and it will take some getting used to.

Thoughts on the first seven days:

  • This is harder than I thought – I have to be prepared. I often take leftovers for lunch but when there aren’t any in the fridge, I can’t just make a sandwich.
  • This is not as hard as I thought – as long as I plan and prep, I think this will be ok. I need to give myself the time for both of those things.
  • I was eating a lot of bread and I was in denial about just how much.
  • My sweet tooth is connected to my wheat tooth. Case in point – I cannot walk past brownies and not eat one. Or two. Or six. I wish I was kidding. However, I can easily say no to candy.  So, for me, not eating wheat/gluten has been helped keep my sweet tooth calm. Just one sweet wheat treat and I need/want MORE.
  • I have been tracking on MFP and it is not driving me crazy. I have tried many times to stay consistent with my tracking but I don’t think my head was not in the right place. So, I stopped. This time, it feels different. I have taken a lot of the stress out of the equation. I am simply using this tool to see what I am eating. No judgement.
  • It is very easy to undereat while eating gluten free. At least, it is easy for me during this transition. Last night, I wasn’t feeling too hot -nothing I could really explain, I just felt off – when I looked at my MFP daily totals I was only at 12oo cals. 1200 cals is not nearly enough calories for me, for a whole day. No wonder I didn’t feel right. I ate 2 eggs, some tortilla chips and homemade salsa and I felt so much better.
  • Turkey Kill Original Vanilla Ice Cream, Klondike Bars (the original and the double chocolate), LaraBars and dried cherries are ALL gluten free. This is good to know! I still need some sweet in my life and I like dessert, so it is nice to have a few options.
  • I am feeling some improvement. I am not crazy-lady itching to the point where I feel out of control and I haven’t had any serious pangs of pain in my gremlin for a few days. Tiny improvement is enough for now because I really wasn’t expecting to see any improvement. Especially, so soon.

It has been an interesting week. I feel good about choosing to experiment with gluten free. I was procrastinated for quite a while before finally diving in. I did it my way and I think that made this week’s transition “easy” for me and my family. This weekend coming up I am going to meal prep enough to ensure I don’t undereat. I will make snacks/mini-meals that will be easy to grab and eat with minimal work.

Do you have any go-to gluten free snacks or mini meals you can recommend? Link me, please, I love recipes!!


gremlins, itchies & glutenfree



Actually, only one gremlin. I have been dealing with stomach issues for almost two years. I get this pain in my left side, up near my ribs. At first, I thought it was an ulcer because spicy food caused me immediate pain. It wasn’t an ulcer. After a year of dealing with this pain, I finally went to a GI doc. My GP put me on an acid controller but that didn’t really do anything.

The GI put me through every test he had: colonoscopy, endocscopy, CT scans, ultrasounds, stomach emptying scans, blood tests and maybe more. The results: nothing, nada. No physical reason for these pains I continue to experience.  Yes, this is great news! I don’t have any craziness going on internally – no cancer or tumors or damage. For this I am thankful. However, one year (of doctors and tests) later and I still have no answers.

Since I don’t have a name for what is going on in my stomach, I call it my gremlin. When I get pangs of pain I say, “my gremlin is pissed off” or something similar.  My gremlin has been a thorn in my side for well over two years. Sometimes, the gremlin is accompanied with bloating and gas and cramps but there is almost always a bruise-like feeling in my upper left stomach quadrant.

Its not the cute fuzzy gremlin, its the gremlin after a midnight feeding.


Because having my very own gremlin isn’t enough, I decided to get itchy. All over itchy. At first I just thought I had a bad case of dry skin, of season changed dry skin. I have used the same laundry soap, shampoo & conditioner, and body wash for years so I know its not that causing itching. I don’t use a lot of lotions or perfumes and the ones I use are very mellow.  I’ve seen my doctor and now I am seeing an allergist.

Guess what?!?

Once again, all the tests come back negative. However, I react as soon as I am touched with the allergy test pin. My skin is so irritated. I will spare you the pictures because it is just icky. My lower leg/ankles are tore up like I walked through a field of chiggers except I didn’t. I will spare you any more details but let’s just say I itch everywhere. All the time.

And it is so not sexy to itch all the time. Itching so much has definitely messed with my head and I often feel like I am going crazy. It is hard to be on your game when you itch all the time. I have gained a lot of weight back in the last three years (ankle/knee injury, surgery, recovery, gremlins & itchies).

Gluten Free

As a last ditch effort to hopefully heal my gremlin and itchies, I have decided to try a gluten free experiment.  I have already tried eliminating nightshades and other major allergens, all to no relief. I have held off on gluten free because it just seems so trendy. I did complete a round of Whole30 but I just could not sustain that for longer than 30 days. I did that for weightloss and not health reasons.

I am hoping, this is GF experiment is different. I am only focused on feeling better and I am not going to be restricting anything other than gluten.

I am seeking health.  I don’t want stomach issues or itchies anymore. Please let this help.

I will be using to track my food but weight loss is not my focus. I set my calories pretty high after research pointed me in that direction. To heal a gut, the body needs plenty of calories not to be restricted. I am only focusing on gluten free. I am not going to go crazy and buy all sorts of GF flours but rather, I am going to keep food as simple as possible. Produce and meats, rice and the occasional sweet. My coffee will remain GF as its been all along (who knew?!?) with creamer & splenda.

I figure this is an experiment so I will ease into it. For right now, I am keeping it simple but as the weeks progress I may need a bread alternative. Or I may cut back on sugar or sweets or potatoes or beans…whatever. I am not planning that far ahead. I have created a board on Pinterest and since I love cooking, I am going to make this experiment as fun  and sustainable as possible.

So this is where I have been. I hid a lot of this from the world. I didn’t want to admit to myself what problem this actually been. I’m out now. I’m ready to find a happy place,



I had the absolute, most fantastic weekend. My beastie (yes, beastie. I call my bestie my beastie because its funny. My cellphone always changed bestie to beastie; we both found it amusing so it stuck.) hopped on the train to visit me for a sleepover. A grown up sleepover.

I can’t even tell you just how good for my soul it was to spend 26ish hours with Heather. We talked, we laughed, we drank beer, we yoga-ed, we walked, and we ate bagels. We may have been short on time but we made the most of it.

Sunday morning I took Heather to the best bagel shop and then to my favorite park. We sat in t he car eating our bagels and then set off for walking the trails. Along the way we stopped a few times at perfect yoga spots. I think we stopped in three separate spots for yoga: once with a still lake in the backdrop, once on a concrete slab in the middle of the woods (the park at one time a long time ago was a brick factory) and once inside the covered bridge.

I may need to start more Sundays just like this.


I have been struggling as of late.  uncofThe itchies and my gremlin have left me miserable. I am itchy all the time. My stomach gremlin gets all pissy and screams frequently. I have been an inflamed mess. I’ve gained a bunch of weight, I am tired most of the time, and I am just uncomfortable in my skin.

But walking in the woods at my favorite park with my beastie, yoga-ing with my beastie, enjoying nature’s beauty with my beastie….all good for my soul. I walked out of the woods feeling renewed, jazzed and relaxed, energized and peaceful. All at the same time.

I have been neglecting my yoga practice. I guess when I started feeling really terrible, it started to become hard to focus on my body and how it feels during yoga. It was easier to neglect my yoga and ignore my body. This weekend, I remembered just why I need yoga in my life. I wish I could have my beastie with me every day so we could practice yoga together often but that is not likely to happen. Hopefully, our yoga on the woods adventure was enough to hold me over.  It certainly was enough to revive my love, to push back some of the negativity that has been holding me back and to entice me back to my yoga.

I leave you, and myself, with this beautiful image. A reminder to seek beauty and to seek your own way. I will come back  to this place when I am in need of a dose of rejuvenation.